Saf Ali's Blog

Blogging about society, religion, identity, social issue and personal problems.

Some have said that 40 is the age to re-evaluate your life. To ask yourself where you want to go in the next 40 years. However, before embarking on writing a to do list on your iPhone, in the next coming weeks, you need to take the time out to think and write down what you haven’t achieved since you were 20 years old. And no i don’t mean that you have to write something like ‘have to go to a rave and drop an E’ or ‘do freestyle on top of a mountain with your BMX without the front brakes’, you can, it’s up to you, but you will be putting yourself and others at risk. Instead, you should accept that some things require physical and mental strength, time and money (which you don’t have, especially with work and family to look after) which you may not have anymore.

So what things do i put down on the to-do list? Well for me, i would first put down going to the gym. I may not have the aspiration anymore to have a body like Peter Andre or Brad Pitt, but that shouldn’t put you off trying to get fit. Fit in the sense that you will try to lose the extra pounds that you have gained since your mid 30s, try to build up your cardio, which is difficult, especially for myself who hasn’t engaged in any real physical activity. In essence, going to the gym, will not be your goal to attract women, (it’s up to you, if married be extra careful), the real incentive should be that you are not getting younger anymore, and that you have put on mileage in the last 20 years, and if the body is not maintained and serviced regularly, then you are looking at trouble, which will not only cause distress to yourself but your partner and your kids. So really you are doing this for yourself and your family.

It not easy going to the gym. Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of books, audio, You Tube vids ‘that tell you that you can do it’. Then you have people like Tony Robbins do all the prep talk, mesmerise you, get you motivated and when it comes to the crunch you just tell yourself I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll do it when the weather is good, or I’ll go on a diet first and then i’ll go to the gym…Trust me, I’ve been through that.

Just because of laziness and unhealthy lifestyle I’m on a high dose of statins to control my cholesterol, and if i ignore it any longer i’m going to become a statistic of alongside other middle age men having a heart attack or stroke.

Categories: Blog

One year of blogging

December 7, 2017

Congrats to you Lisa in achieving a landmark. One year of blogging is not easy whilst your studying, working, being part of a family, the ups and down of everyday life…You are an inspiration to all. Keep up the good work.


A year ago today I announced the start of “In a Science World” and published my very first blog post! Where has the last year gone?! It’s been an incredible journey and I didn’t quite expect it to take me places it has done!

I started my blog as a way to figure out whether science communication was a career route I’d like to pursue. Let’s just say I haven’t had the most seamless PhD journey and about half way through I came to the realisation that a life in academia is not for me. With plenty of thinking time and self reflection, I realised I LOVE the science and I love teaching others about it, but I do not enjoy the process of making the science! Weird right?!

Writing my blog has opened up many opportunities that I never imagined a year ago. It’s led me to being publicist…

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Inequality has given rise to nationalism, far right extremism, anti-globalism, anti-migration, anti-Islam.


After the collapse of communism, enlightenment ideals such as democracy, equality, freedom of speech, secularism, humanism, the separation of state and religion (to some extent) gained popularity. However, these ideas of a free and fairer society, might have been popular but they were not generally accepted by everyone, and nor were they directed for everyone. Instead in the last two to three hundred years, people of brown and black skin, women, the working classes, gay people had to fight for there rights either through the process of democracy, struggle or through a bloody revolution.


Since the 1980s with the demise of social democracy, and the tear up of the post-war consensus there has been one winner and that has been individualism and power to the free market. With the quest to increase wealth, the rich have gained much from neoliberalism, whilst the middle classes and the working classes have seen their wages stagnant for decades. Global capital may have decreased poverty, and that is in the absolute sense, but relative poverty has increased. Inequality has increased to the rate of the 1970s. With this disparity, eventually, those hidden voices jumped on the negativity of what global capital produced, e.g. decrease in social mobility, the increase in migration, local context determined by global politics, the loss of sovereignty, increase in segregation as a failure of multiculturalism…



This inequality can be exploited by ambitious figures who for their personal gain or for their version of what reality should be like, can spread the message of fear and insecurity, but at the same time promise a new future.


Inequality, economic disparity are symptoms of modernity that can lead to the emergence of ISIS, the rise in far-right extremism, and where the tolerant can become the intolerant, as history has shown us in the past. But it is our duty to not to repeat past mistakes which can lead to global fatal destruction. And it is the utmost importance that we look at ourselves hard in the mirror and say that not all is perfect in the garden of Eden.

The Economist:

For some by the time they have reached 40, they have a more holistic understanding of their position in this chaotic complex social world. However, for some, like me, we are still in that coming of age, late teenage period, where we are attempting to understand how the world works. Some of us, like myself, still are buying our clothes from trendy young men’s fashion retailers such as Asos, River Island, Topman, JD Sports…we love our skinny jeans with our white adidas RUN DMC trainers…Even though sometimes we can’t find our sizes, because they cater for the thin to medium build, twenty-something boy or girl, we still feel that we are young and trendy, and that we will never age.



Social media, especially on Instagram, in some sense has allowed anyone regardless of their age, as long as they have a fit, tanned, tattooed body, with bleached shining white set of dentures, to express themselves freely without worrying about age.



So yes, there is some truth when celebrities say that 40 is the new 20. Further, like me if you are out of shape, let something like Instagram be your inspiration to keep you young and trendy. Don’t let anyone put you down, and say your an old man or a woman.

In a climate of anxiety and fear, insecurity, austerity, the rise of nationalism, the attack on science by religion, the ethnic, racial and sexual divisions in the spotlight, and the question of what future we want is up for grabs in the public eye. Instead of groups such as Britain First, or Al Mahajaroon, attempting to dictate the narrative in the media, we should rather be giving airtime to academics, third sector workers, public sector workers to identify risks and highlight social and political problems and to have a real crossover discussion in how best to provide solutions to these problems.


Sociologists should take a more vigorous outspoken centrist approach in providing an insight into how social conditions can produce human sufferings. In which these individual sufferings, stemming from structural origins, can be seen as a private problem which can manifest into a public problem. To address social problems that we face today in the 21st century, sociology needs to look hard at itself in the mirror, and ask itself, ‘is it still trapped in a Marxist bubble?’

Sociologists have to not only incorporate left ideals and but also have to take on board the centre right model.


There is a risk of backlash if academics to adopt this approach. The path to a new ‘centre-right sociology’ will not be easy, it might be seen as a cruel, insensitive, treacherous suicide, and as an attack on its founders and its core beliefs. The journey to a new place is never so simple, there will be obstacles in the way, there will be causalities, but the hope of understanding society and providing solutions to social problems shall never be above shoulders than the political spectrum one holds. Sociology from its humble origin was always concerned with conducting research with an open mind, regardless of race, religion, personal experience… like its cousin, the natural sciences, its aim was to search for truth through experiments and research which would shape human life for the better. And this core belief should remain to be the central tenet of sociology.




So you been a Marxist, a raver, a labour activist, anti- war demonstrator… But once you hit 40, you undo one notch of your belt to make room for your pot belly, and sit down in a cosy isolated corner of your house, away from the kids and the wife, with a warm cup of Nescafe Latte, where you will direct your new age anger in cyberspace. With your Macbook, with the sex pistols playing in the background, you will attempt to reach out to others, sometimes in a discrete manner, under the character of your made up profile, a new identity that will give license to roam the web without putting yourself into much danger about your political and social views. I will shout timidly to myself, ‘THUG LIFE till i die!’, throwing up the West Coast sign, yeah!!!


Tupac Shakur

I will always be a rebel! with my Tupac or Acid House T-shirt, and my classic RUN DMC white superstar trainers with the tongue out, with the display of my proud ink, i shall not fear anyone. That is until the wife calls me and says ‘are you going to move your lazy bum, or do i have to go Sainsbury’s alone?’



This is the first series of post from ‘What to do when you hit 40’. I will keep you posted weekly. Please, leave a comment or a like.


This weeks release of the new iPhone X has forced me to write a post on my blog since last year. Yes, that’s right, the last time that I posted something was in early 2016! Well, a lots a happened since 2016, the inauguration of President Trump, Brexit, Corbynmania, fidget spinners…and 2017 hasn’t been boring, especially in the tech world.

After the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in October, things looked dull, the critics reviewed the handsets with a lukewarm embrace. To tell you the truth the handsets not only looked like the previous year models, but they looked like the original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus from 2014. Three years are a long time in the mobile market, especially without any real change to the physical build of the handset. The only change was the controversial decision took by Apple to get rid of the headphone jack last year. What the public was really waiting for was the release of the iPhone X. And we weren’t disappointed.

I initially missed out the chance for preordering the handset through the Apple store. When I did the get the chance, my basket was reading a delivery date in December. December!! Bloody hell! I may as well go and hibernate for the winter. I do not have the patience to wait. So, I browsed online and picked up the iPhone X for a heavy tag!!! I mean I was one of the lucky one to get hold of the handset early for a cheaper price, a day after placing the order, the handset had reached an eye-watering £2000 price tag on sites such as eBay. Yes, £2000!!! What a whopper!!!!

The three days before the arrival of the iPhone, were agonisingly long and dreary. Its like when you’ve got the flu or fever, and the night just drags on and on and on. All i kept doing in my free time was watching You Tube, reading early reviews and predictions. To others this may seem monotonous or eccentric behaviour, but to me it was a way of keeping my anxiety away. The night before, was the worse, all i kept doing was tossing and turning, kept looking at the clock, thinking what case to drop on the phone. Probably went to the toilet a dozen times. I just waiting to get my hands on the new iPhone X. It was like going cold turkey.

Daylight broke, i washed, ate and watched television. Every 10 minutes or so, i would be glimpsing through the blinds waiting for the postman to arrive. I mean i was so taken over by the wait of the phone, that i dare not go to the toilet to relieve myself, incase i missed the knock on the door by the postie.

Then at 11am, the angels came down from heaven and knocked on my door, well it wasn’t the angels, but in my state i could have mistaken my local postie for an angel, or to think again, he does look like Father Xmas with that big white beard. Anyway, to cut the story short (Spandau Ballet song, my favourite) i unboxed the iPhone, rubbed it against my skin, held it, set it up and slammed the bumper case on it, and hid it from any prying eyes. So there, i got my fix, put on velvet undergound (heroin) and i was the happiest person in the word and i sang out loud

 When I’m rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus’ son

Just to alert my readers, i’m not glorifying the use of illegal drugs. Keep away from illegal drugs, they destroy your life, and in some cases they kill you. Technology is also the new 21st century drug, too much of it and you will miss the ‘real’ life pass away in front of you. Thanks for reading, please subscribe, or give me a bigs thumb up like and keep smiling.



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Diary of the Motivated

Optimist, scientist, lover of heavy metal and life, from beautiful New Zealand. This blog documents my journey to achieving my goals, how I stay motivated when the grind gets hard, and any other useful tips I come across. Life is short, make every second count!

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